Romano Beans

October 23, 2007

I think I planted too many romano beans this year. I’ve already confessed to how terrible I am at thinning, and that definitely came into play with these guys. The seedlings kept sprouting up and looking so vigorous and healthy that, rather than tug every other one out, I’d just add another string and let it climb. All summer long, I’d harvest a good bowl-ful every day; my entire crisper drawer was constantly filled.

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Yesterday, I picked the last bunch and felt a nostalgic pang for the bonanza that was no more. I was all excited about cooking the braised dish in the Zuni Cookbook (I love the idea of braising last-of-the-summer 150x150WHblogging_57veggies . . . it’s like summer and fall colliding) until I calculated the timing and realized I didn’t have three hours to do so.

So I improvised.

I sizzled some garlic over medium-high heat and gilded the beans with it, then added chopped tomato and a splash of wine, lowered the heat and simmered until they were melt in your mouth tender.

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For those of you not familiar with romano beans, they’re meaty little beasts (actually, they’re quite BIG). The Zuni braise is my go-to recipe for romanos, but after asking many of you (thanks to my CLBB buddies!) what to do with my surfeit this summer, I found out that they also cook up tender quite quickly. So I expanded my horizons and used them successfully in a delicious curry, and even steamed them, sliced them, and mixed them up with a garlicky vinaigrette and some arugula. Yum.

I wish I could tell you more about these impressive pods but, alas, I’m at a loss. I’ve spent the better part of the summer (and much of today) searching for information and recipes and, aside from a little help from my friends, have found virtually nothing. So by all means, chime in if you have something to share!

This is yet another entry to Kalyn’s Kitchen Weekend Herb Blogging (happy second year anniversary Kalyn!), hosted, once again, by Pille at Nami Nami.

 

 

 

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12 Responses to “Romano Beans”

  1. jo Says:

    This sounds very good and a lot healthier than my usual turn: lightly cooked then flash fried with pancetta cubes and olive oil.

  2. Katiez Says:

    I just picked the last of mine last week! I planted a 5′ row, almost all of which died. I only had 3 plants. I picked twice a week for about 2 months, always more than enough for a meal. Sometimes I cook them long and slow, sometimes steamed for 5 minutes and tossed with butter…and all in between!

  3. lia Says:

    It may be healthier, Jo, but I’m trying your method with my last batch!

    Katie . . . isn’t it amazing how many beans these guys produce?

  4. Pille Says:

    I didn’t manage to grow any beans in my garden this year, but I’ll remedy this next year – I love green beans in any shape or form! (And improvised recipes are often the best:)
    Thank you for taking part in this week’s WHB!

  5. Kalyn Says:

    It definitely sounds tasty. I’m not sure I’ve tasted romano beans. I do know that when I planted regular green beans, I had the same problem keeping them picked!

  6. VegeYum Says:

    They look great – I can almost smell them from here. Like Kalyn I don’t think I have come across them, but they sound interesting. I will look especially next time I am in the markets.

  7. lia Says:

    Thanks for stopping by you guys. Definitely check out Romanos at the market next summer. They’re worth it!

    Pille, thanks for hosting WHB and Kalyn, as always, thanks for starting it all! I’m looking forward to leisurely browsing the wrap-up on your site, Pille (Nami-Nami).

  8. Stephanie Says:

    Ok – this is fun. Mr. Eloquent may have created a monster. :-)
    What you call “Romano” we’ve just called Italian Broad Beans. I love them and will try your recipe. We grow Fortex though – they are a long bean. My mil makes wonderful pickled green beans. Also, I got the following recipe from her. She is a true farm wife.
    1 clove garlic, crushed. 1/3 cup of olive oil. 3 TBS lemon juice. 1 tsp each of salt, sugar, dry mustard, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram (the truth is, dried herbs are good here too). Chop 6 green onions. Add pepper. Mix together. Pour over cooked beans (however you want to cook them). steph

  9. lia Says:

    Stephanie . . . This recipe sounds delicious–thank you for sharing! Pickled green beans are my favorite accoutrement to a martini ;-).

  10. Stephanie Says:

    Lia – we call them “dilly beans”. And they are great in drinks like a Bloody Mary or Martini. But we like them best as a precursor to any meal at the ranch. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving w/o them. It is the first thing my kids look for . . . which is fun to watch since my kids are 24, 22, 18 and 6 . . .and they all look for the “dilly beans”. You never grow up from some childhood rituals. :-) steph

  11. VegeYum Says:

    Oh,broad beans! I didn’t know they had such a range of names, and were so versatile. Are they the same as these? I like the sound of the pickled beans as well, with or without a martini!

  12. lia Says:

    Steph . . . I think Dilly Beans may show up on our Thanksgiving table this year!

    VegeYum . . . Loved your “ah-ha” post on broad beans. Althought they’re not quite the same thing. Here, broad beans are often called fava beans (and, yes, they’re definitely worth the effort of a double peel . . . we grow them over the winter, so I’m sure they’ll make an appearance here on Swirling Notions come springtime). These Romano Beans (or, as Steph and others call them, Italian Broad Beans) are long, flat, meaty string beans. No peeling with these guys. Although now you’ve got me thinking about favas . . . mmmmm.


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